The Boston Globe | Abuse in the Catholic Church


Advisers to weigh bankruptcy option

By Stephen Kurkjian, Globe Staff, 12/4/2002

The possibility of the Archdiocese of Boston filing for bankruptcy will probably be raised today at a meeting of Cardinal Bernard F. Law's board of financial advisers, several members said yesterday.

Law has yet to decide whether to accept the recommendation of several top legal and financial advisers to file for Chapter 11 as a way to pay more than 400 victims of clergy sexual abuse who have made claims against the archdiocese.

''He is still undecided, so there's nothing for us to vote on,'' said one member, referring to the quarterly meeting of the Archdiocese Finance Council. ''But I cannot imagine the topic won't be raised and discussed.''

No US diocese has ever filed for bankruptcy.

If Law decides to go forward with a bankruptcy petition, he would need the official sanction of the Vatican as well as the 15-member Finance Council.

The council, which in the past acted essentially as a sounding board on financial issues for the cardinal, has taken a more indepedent role in dealing with the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

In May, the group rejected Law's request to approve a plan to pay $15 million to $30 million to 86 people who had made complaints against defrocked priest and convicted molester the Rev. John J. Geoghan, saying the deal was too expensive. In September, the council approved a $10 million plan for the victims.

This story ran on page A24 of the Boston Globe on 12/4/2002.
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